Asia, in particular China, is playing an ever-greater role in the global offshore wind energy market as more countries there adopt the technology. The US is also becoming an important market.
Analysis of investment in green energy in 2018 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests that global clean energy investment totalled US$332Bn in 2018, down 8% on 2017. Last year was the fifth in a row in which investment exceeded the US$300Bn mark, according to figures from BNEF.
There were sharp contrasts between clean energy sectors in terms of the change in dollar investment in 2018. Wind investment rose 3% to US$128.6Bn, with offshore wind having its second-highest year.
Offshore wind was a major recipient of clean energy investment last year, attracting US$25.7Bn, up 14% on the previous year. Some of the projects financed were in Europe, led by the 950-MW Moray Firth East array in the North Sea, at an estimated US$3.3Bn, but there were also 13 Chinese offshore windfarms starting construction, for a total of some US$11.4Bn.
BNEF head of wind analysis David Hostert said, “The balance of activity in offshore is tilting. Countries such as the UK and Germany pioneered this industry and will remain important, but China is taking over as the biggest market and new locations such as Taiwan and the US east coast are seeing strong interest from developers.”
Looking at the 2018 clean energy investment numbers by country, China was again the clear leader, but its total of US$100.1Bn was down 32% on 2017’s record figure because of the plunge in the value of solar commitments.
BNEF chief executive Jon Moore said, “Once again, the actions of China are playing a major role in the dynamics of the energy transition, helping to drive down solar costs, grow the offshore wind and EV markets and lift venture capital and private equity investment.”
The US was the second-biggest investing country, at US$64.2Bn, up 12%. Europe saw clean energy investment leap 27% to US$74.5Bn, helped by the financing of five offshore wind projects in the billion-dollar-plus category.
The 2019 Offshore Wind Journal Conference, which takes place 5 February 2019 in London, includes presentations looking at the market in China, Taiwan and other countries in Asia including Japan and South Korea.
Commercial opportunities in the region will be addressed by Offshore Wind Consultants director John MacAskill and William Cleverly, managing director, Offshore Wind Consultants Taiwan.